Victoria Berry at home.
AdNews last year launched the WFH Diaries during the depths of the fallout from the pandemic, a way of sharing how people managed their days.
This time, with lockdown running again, we're asking for a run down on how everyone likes to start their day working from home. Some dress to impress, others slip on the t-shirt. And everyone has their own way to carve the day into manageable chunks.
Victoria Berry, head of strategy, FutureBrand Australia:
I have every intention of starting my day with a peaceful shower, quiet coffee and scroll of the headlines but in reality it starts at the mercy of my two tiny bosses, my gorgeous kids, Leo (4) and Raphi (2). Their schedule tends to drive the kind of morning we have but I do try to get up before everyone else so I can get ready before the mayhem.
It’s coffee first, then breakfast as a family with a side of ABC Kids. On the days we have access to childcare, my husband or I will negotiate drop off and pick up. On the days we don’t, we try to break up the childminding depending on the day’s meetings and commitments.
Working from home with the kids is not fun for anyone. We try to have food and snacks sorted the night before and activities at the ready but lowering expectations and somewhat ‘going with the flow’ is the only way we get through it.
COVID hit just as I was returning from maternity leave with Raphi. At the time I was worried working from home would be lonely, uninspiring and, frankly, impossible with the kids at home – and of course sometimes it is – but I’ve realised there’s lots to love about it too. And I’m not just talking about the Zoom filter! It takes me half the time to get ready, I can get deep uninterrupted thinking time (when the kids are in childcare!), and I don’t miss running after trains or the discomfort of a middle-of-winter commute. When we’re in lockdown, which in Melbourne has been a lot over the past 18 months, I do miss the in-person buzz and connection with my team and clients.
We begin every workday with a team Zoom which is a great way to stay connected and get across what’s happening in the studio. At FutureBrand, collaboration and co-creation have always been fundamental to the way we work. To help counter the separation, we’ve been using the digital whiteboard and collaboration tool, Miro, a lot over the last 12 months, which has been an absolute game changer for us – not just in terms of working with clients in other parts of the country or world but for working with each other too. We’re also big believers in keeping our cameras on in every virtual meeting. It’s the only way to give people the attention they deserve and does so much to help lift the spirits as well!
Sometime through the day I try to fit in a walk around the block or yoga session in the living room, but often the days are filled up with team meetings and brainstorms and, of course, client pitches, presentations and workshops. So between my meetings and juggling the kids, I’m not managing these breaks as much as I’d like. I don’t think any of us in lockdown are right now though, are we?
The day always ends with the mad rush of kids’ dinner, bath, books and bed. Like most parents, we only really get that heavenly hour or two to decompress, eat and have a glass of wine on the couch before it starts all over again! I would say that right now we’re just surviving but the thought of family reunions, friends and summer sunshine is pulling us through.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.